Glazers’ Valuation Concerns Prompt Qatari Withdrawal, Paving the Way for Billionaire Ratcliffe’s Bid for Influence
British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe, 70, is reportedly on the verge of finalizing a deal with the Glazer family to acquire a minority stake in Manchester United. Ratcliffe, who emerged as the sole remaining bidder after Qatari businessman Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani withdrew from the race, is said to be in advanced negotiations with the Glazers regarding the purchase.
ESPN journalist Rob Dawson broke the news, revealing that Sheikh Jassim and his team officially withdrew from the bidding process, citing concerns over the Glazers’ perceived unrealistic valuation of the club. It is believed that Ratcliffe, founder of INEOS, has submitted a new offer that involves acquiring a minority stake with the long-term goal of eventually assuming full control from the Glazers.
Sky Sports News reporter Kaveh Solhekol confirmed the ongoing negotiations, stating, “Sir Jim Ratcliffe (INEOS) is close to agreeing a deal to buy 25 per cent of Manchester United.” This move, if approved, would allow the Glazer family to retain control while opening the door for Ratcliffe’s INEOS to become a significant stakeholder in the iconic football club.
The Times has reported that Ratcliffe’s proposed deal for a 25% stake is likely to be approved, marking the initial phase of what insiders suggest could be a future complete takeover. Ratcliffe’s firm, INEOS, is expected to invest a staggering £1.3 billion for the minority stake, with a formal decision anticipated at a forthcoming board meeting.
Despite the apparent progress in Ratcliffe’s bid, reports from the Daily Mail indicate that Sheikh Jassim made last-ditch efforts to salvage his bid for the club through talks in recent days. However, these attempts proved unsuccessful, leaving Ratcliffe as the primary contender for the minority stake.
The Sunday Times, citing insider information, suggests that the approval of Ratcliffe’s offer for a 25% stake could set the stage for a broader takeover in the future. As the negotiations unfold, the football world watches with anticipation as Manchester United potentially undergoes a transformative shift in ownership dynamics.
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